Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cambodia Missions Trip: Part I - Pre-Missions Testimony!

Hi dear brothers and sisters,

Just want to share a testimony with you!

I was going through my Cambodia trip checklist last night, and browsing through Mark 6 when suddenly these words jumped out at me:

"He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics."

It struck me that these words of Jesus were the very opposite of my checklist! In this particular context, the Lord was telling his disciples to go light, and therefore dependent on the local populace's hospitality. (Perhaps He also wanted to remind them to rely on God's provision too. "You're at least wearing clothes right? Then GO with what you have!")

You see, I had intended to borrow a pair of army boots because I anticipated that we might have to step through muddy areas in the villages. However, Jesus' explicit instructions to His disciples to wear sandals caught my eyes. It felt as though He was directly telling me to skip the boots and wear sandals instead.

So I sent an SMS to the bro whom I was planning to borrow the boots from. Right after I had sent the SMS, the bro called me to tell me that he'd be late. I told him that I wouldn't be borrowing after all, and he was naturally surprised. So I explained to him that I felt that the Lord was telling me plainly not to borrow the Army boots because He wanted me to wear sandals.

Then the brother, being concerned, asked me whether I might suffer 'foot-rot' from the mud. I thought for a moment, and told him that yes, I might suffer that - but suffering and hardships are part and parcel of missions. "Anyway, Jesus Himself suffered NAILS through His feet for our sake... so who am I to complain or worry about a little 'foot-rot'?" Hee. Surprised to see how this revelation came to me even as I was in the midst of sharing my testimony to the bro. 

Thinking about it, I think maybe we Singaporeans like to overpack for missions trips. But sometimes we pack so much - three pairs of shoes, etc... that we may miss out on the opportunity to experience God's providence during emergencies.

Also, I think the Lord is challenging me in this area of missions: Though I want to go with the heart to bless the locals, am I prepared to identify fully with them? To live and dress like the locals do? And... am I even willing to literally get my feet muddy, just like the local villagers?

If I am not willing to get my feet dirty, then what on earth am I going on this missions trip for? Wow... powerful rebuke from a rhema word from God...

Missions is not just about going there and sharing the gospel, or helping them. It is also an incarnational ministry ie we humbly become as one of the locals. Like how God became a, a crying baby! and even washed our feet and died for us. To know Christ and to make Him known.

Hee. But above all this, I am excited about the potential hardships and difficulties that we'll face. Not because I'm masochistic, but because I can have a chance to identify with my dear Lord Jesus more fully through the fellowship of suffering!

Philippians 3:7-11 has become very more real to me through this experience.
"7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

Yes, though I am bringing along many things, yet what they were gain to me, I now count loss. But I'm glad I'm not bringing the boots along after all. Though I may experience minor foot problems as a result, this is a good chance for me to identify more w the locals, even in something very small as a pair of sandals.

Yes! that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Such a joy to be able to identify with Christ just a little little little bit more! Amen? :)

Hee. Very excited to see how God is working behind the scenes even before we have reached there!

And He really provided so overwhelmingly for our fund-raising: thank you Shuyi, Weizhu & Huichun, Sandy, Daniel, Huaqiang & Sarah! Thank you for blessing the little ones in Jesus' name!

Thanks too to Jinghe who's coming down to see us off, and my shepherd too... thanks for your prayer support / encouragement, etc.

Jesus: "If anyone of you gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

Thank you for extending the kingdom of God and blessing the orphans through your big-hearted giving!

Sent from my iPhone

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